Philippines

Island Women Take the Lead in Peatland Restoration

Eluminada Roca has lived all her life next to the  Leyte Sab-a Basin peatlands. The grandmother from of San Isidro village in Philippines’ Leyte island grew up looking at the green hills that feed water to the peatland, she harvested tikog—a peatland grass to weave mats—and ate the delicious fish that was once in abundant in the waters. But today, the land is losing its water, the grass is disappearing and the fish stock has drastically decreased.

Q&A: Important to Treat Anyone Suffering from Leprosy as an Equal Individual

Discrimination against women who are affected by leprosy or Hansen's Disease is a harsh reality, says Alice Cruz is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.

New Regional Secretariat to Advance Leprosy Advocacy in Asia

Organisations of people affected by leprosy in Asia have agreed to form a regional-level secretariat to support national advocacies and represent their collective agenda at a world conference to be held later this year.

Individual Empowerment Still Important in Leprosy Groups’ Strategies

The tragic tale of Thobias Alexander Manas’s personal experience with leprosy is all too typical.

Living with Leprosy on the Climate-Vulnerable Kiribati Island Atolls

Kurarenga Kaitire lives in Kiribati—one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. Already vulnerable to nature, the 29-year-old mother of five has faced a series of vulnerabilities over the past decade, including facing social stigma and domestic abuse.

Leprosy Survivor Creates Hope and Support for Others Affected by Disease

When Ariel Lazarte from Quezon City, Philippines, was first diagnosed with leprosy in 2014, his life seemed as if it were falling apart. But now more than four years later Lazarte’s life is a huge contrast from the poverty and isolation he experienced as a person affected by leprosy.

Q& A: We Need a Holistic Approach to Eradicate Leprosy

Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana is the Assistant Secretary in the Philippines ministry of health. With nearly two decades of  work both as a senior government official and also as an expert in several non-government organisations, Laxamana has deep insight into the issue of leprosy in this Southeast Asian nation and the challenges faced by those who are affected by the disease.

Capacity Building the Key to Fighting Leprosy

Strengthening the participation of persons affected by leprosy, or SPP, has proven to be an effective strategy in reaching out to often isolated sufferers in local communities throughout Asia. A significant challenge to civil society organisations, however, is finding enough management talent to maintain and expand the programmes.

Leprosy Detection With a Personal Touch

Jennifer Quimno could put anyone at ease. So when she travels across the Philippines as part of peer to peer programme that helps identify new leprosy cases, people generally allow her to examine them.

First Asian Leprosy Assembly Calls for Greater Social Inclusion for the Affected

Growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, Amar Bahadur Timalsina wasn’t allowed to attend school as a young boy because he was affected by leprosy. But decades later, after treatment and being able to re-integrate into his community, the boy who was once denied an education is now inspiringly the principal of a school of 400 students.

Leprosy Remains a Stubborn, Unseen Problem in the Philippines

The stubborn challenge of diagnosis and treatment of leprosy among difficult to reach populations in the Philippines should soon become easier with the rollout of a mobile app connecting field health workers with physicians and clinics.

Philippines Most Dangerous Country in Southeast Asia for Journalists

It’s not just suspected drug users and dealers at risk of targeted killing in the Philippines. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reported last week that the Philippines is the most dangerous country in Southeast Asia for journalists. Globally, the island nation came sixth on the list of most murderous countries.

Philippines Joins Space Race

The Philippines, a tiny developing country, has joined the colossal world of space technology, building its second microsatellite that it plans to launch late this year or in early 2018 -- not to study other planets, but to monitor weather patterns and climate change to protect the country’s natural resources and improve disaster risk management.

Populist Leaders Endanger Human Rights: Advocacy Organisation

Populist leaders pose a dangerous threat to human rights, fuelling and justifying intolerance and abuse across the world, said advocacy group Human Rights Watch during the launch of their annual global report.

Family Planning in the Philippines: Stalled Again

With the landslide victory of the tough talking city mayor of Davao City, Roberto Duterte to the Presidency of the Philippines in May 2016, news reports of the South-East Asian country have been dominated by the President's often controversial statements and policies, especially toward those involved in the illegal drug trade. One such notable event, which slipped below the radar was the granting of a second temporary restraining order in 2016 by the country's Supreme Court on the distribution of most contraceptives.

Detained, Female and Dying: Why Prisons Must Treat Women’s Health Needs

It is a grim fact that prisoners in most countries suffer from poorer health than non-prisoners, and that their right to health is not always protected. But for certain groups these rights can be even more elusive. Such is the case for women.

Mental Health Another Casualty of Changing Climate

Jun* is in chains, tied to a post in the small house that resembles a fragile nipa hut. His brother did this to prevent him from hurting their neighbours or other strangers he meets when he’s in a ballistic mood. Jun has been like this for three years now, but since Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines two years ago, his symptoms have worsened.

Italy Joins Internet Rights ‘Club’

Italy has finally joined the restricted club of states in the world that have chosen the constitutional path for regulating the Internet – or at least has taken a significant step in that direction – by adopting a Declaration of Internet Rights.

Opinion: Women in the Face of Climate Change

After surviving the storm surge wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in November 2013, women in evacuation centres found themselves again fighting for survival … at times from rape. Many became victims of human trafficking while many more did anything they could to feed their families before themselves.

Opinion: Kerry Going Back Home

Recovering from a broken femur following a bicycle accident suffered in Switzerland, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry – former senator and former presidential candidate – is anxious to accelerate his convalescence and will visit Cuba on Friday Aug. 14, where he will hoist the Stars and Stripes flag over the emblematic U.S. embassy building in Havana.

Opinion: The Road to Paris and the Path to Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is now being seen by many people around the world as a cost-effective development solution both for developed and developing nations. Countries have slowly been realising that the use of coal and the huge amount of carbon emissions it generates harms the environment and impacts our daily activities.

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